Gene Expression

Archives for March, 2009

Expertise & entertainment

Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide, has a post up where he notes how bad political “experts” are. Nevertheless, I’m a little confused, isn’t the whole point of political pundits & stock pickers to be entertaining, as opposed to expert? It seems that the premise that the public is rationally consuming expertise is just…

Environment as the gene’s handmaid

A few days ago The New York Times had a blog post up which addressed the relationship between genes & environment in shaping our behavior & choices (see Genetic Future). One of the authors even posted a follow up comment where they evinced some surprise at the bile of the responses. I have to say…

Madoff & Merkin mensch?

New York has a very long piece, Monster Mensch, which profiles Bernie & J. Ezra Merkin. Psychoanalysis can get kind of old, the profile is more interesting in terms of the light it sheds on other figures in Bernie’s world.

Whither the cloud?

New Nail in Google Cloud Coffin: Here’s what Google fears: If its cloud-computing system crashes, or inadvertently lets companies view their rivals’ confidential documents all over the world, the entire system of cloud-based business-information processing collapses. Companies’ most precious secrets are leaked, as are government files; suddenly, your tax history is available for anyone to…

South Park, it’s back!

Excellent episode. Should it be titled “In praise of fiat currency?”

Dan MacArthur already posted some of the supplementary figures from Signals of recent positive selection in a worldwide sample of human populations, but he didn’t put up one that I thought was really striking. The text: First, there is extensive sharing of extreme iHS and XP-EHH signals between Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia,…

Sexual selection & animal signals

Nick Wade in The New York Times has a piece on a review on the relationships between male competition, signaling and sexual selection. If the topic interests you I strongly recommend Animal Signals, John Maynard Smith’s last book.

Iceland, Elves & Inbreeding

There’s a critique up of Michael Lewis’ entertaining if somewhat less than illuminating (compared to the piece in The New Yorker) profile of the Icelandic financial meltdown. No surprise that Lewis spun here and there to extract more entertainment out of the straight story, but I have to take objection to a few points: 5.…

Black Girls Are 50 Percent More Likely To Be Bulimic Than White Girls: Rather, girls who are African American are 50 percent more likely than girls who are white to be bulimic, the researchers found, and girls from families in the lowest income bracket studied are 153 percent more likely to be bulimic than girls…

Genetic Future’s summary of Signals of recent positive selection in a worldwide sample of human populations is an excellent complement to mine. Highly recommended.